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The Best Seinen Anime For Battle Shonen Fans

GameRant logo GameRant 6/19/2022 Jourdan Silva
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Some of the most popular and cherished anime of all time belong in one of two main categories, seinen and shonen. These anime can belong in any genre but are marketed to different audiences. While shonen anime is targeted toward adolescent boys, seinen anime is aimed at young men, ages 18 and up.

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Shonen anime includes notable shows such as Attack on Titan, Naruto, and Demon Slayer. Of course, whether a show is a shonen or seinen, fans of all ages, genders, and preferences can enjoy them. Get some popcorn ready, because here are a few incredible seinen anime that are great choices for those who are already big shonen fans.

Updated June 15, 2022, by Ritwik Mitra: There are many people who love the draw of seinen anime. These mature shows tackle nuanced themes that feel like a breath of fresh air from the by-the-numbers plotlines featured in many of their shonen counterparts. However, both genres are not as different as one might think, and there are many seinen anime that fans of the shonen genre will have a great time with. The most fitting recommendations in this context are mentioned below.

Vinland Saga

The first season of Vinland Saga was essentially a prologue, which is already pretty mind-blowing as is. Thorfinn is a complex character that fans adore, mainly for his mature character writing and dark yet understandable motivations.

Thorfinn's growth throughout the first season is a joy to witness. Hopefully, Vinland Saga will be just as riveting when the later seasons come up with a mature Thorfinn at the helm of these proceedings instead.

Berserk

Berserk is a brilliant manga that serves as Kentaro Miura's magnum opus. The late great mangaka poured his heart and soul into the Berserk manga, and no adaptation has come anywhere near as close to depicting the amazing artwork of this series.

That being said, the 1997 anime and the movie adaptations of The Golden Age are still a blast to sit through. The brilliant direction and character development in these adaptations are enough to warrant a watch for any shonen anime fan.

Elfen Lied

After watching the first episode, it would be easy to dismiss Elfen Lied as nothing more than a mindless gorefest. However, this shocking opening settles into a rather thought-provoking show that poses several interesting questions.

Lucy serves as a great tragic protagonist in Elfen Lied, with the show's quality heightening due to the character's fascinating personality. The anime might have a more rushed ending, but it's a great watch nonetheless and the manga is always there for people who remained invested till the end.

Hellsing Ultimate

Hellsing Ultimate is a series of OVAs that detail Alucard's adventures and encounters in the Hellsing universe. Each one of these OVAs is full to brim with memorable characters and mind-blowing animation.

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The show can be pretty grisly to watch at times, but Alucard's brilliance as a protagonist will make even the most squeamish anime viewer celebrate every victory.

One-Punch Man

Most people are surprised by the fact that One-Punch Man is actually a seinen series as opposed to a shonen one. This fact, in and of itself, is enough for this amazing show to bag a spot on this list.

One-Punch Man's hilarity is present all throughout the show, even though the second season features a notable dip in animation quality. With rumors of a third season abound, there's no better time to get into this legendary series.

Cowboy Bebop

This iconic anime continues to gain fans, even though it's now over 20 years old. With an upcoming Netflix series bringing the animated crew to life, many fans are revisiting the show and new viewers are finding it for the first time. The show had a huge influence on anime, and still shapes animators and writers to this day.

This series is regarded as a seinen anime due to its mature storylines, which an older audience can enjoy and emotionally connect with. Spike Spiegel, the cool and collected bounty hunter, goes on many adventures with his companions in this epic series. Its fantastic characters, beautiful music, and incredible visuals make it a must-watch for any anime fan.

Erased

Playing off the classic "butterfly effect" theory, this series follows the story of a 27-year-old man who wakes up in the body of his 10-year-old self, after being accused of his mother's murder. He must now navigate being a child again and figure out who killed his mother, while also preventing the notorious kidnappings that occurred in his childhood.

It's a high-intensity anime of just 12 episodes, making it a wonderful show to binge in one or two sittings. Anyone who likes mystery, drama, youthful friendships, and sci-fi will love Erased.

Terror in Resonance

This psychological thriller from 2014 has 11 episodes of high-stakes crime, mystery, and police chases. Two teenage boys, Twelve and Nine, are labeled as terrorists threatening to release a stolen atomic bomb on Tokyo, They must find the answers about their past, and the organization that manipulated them to be human weapons.

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A high school girl named Lisa becomes involved in their plans as they avoid the police and uncover the reasons behind their traumatic pasts. If there's one new anime to watch from this list, it's this one. It's an animated masterpiece.

Ghost in the Shell

This Japanese cyberpunk franchise is a stunningly unique series that most anime fans will enjoy, featuring enticing visuals, a beautiful soundtrack, and exciting plot twists. The protagonist Mokoto is a technologically advanced cyborg and public security agent, who is faced with critical situations involving valuing her own identity and self-worth.

Viewers are left questioning everything about humanity and society once they finish this series. There have been many remakes, games, books, and TV shows based on this original anime, proving it's one not only of the best sci-fi animes of all time but also one of the best seinen ones as well.

Mushishi

This award-winning anime is fittingly based on an incredible award-winning manga released in the early 2000s. It follows the story of Ginko, a man on a lonely journey to uncover the meaning of the rare, almost mythical Mushi, a very simple form of life that can mimic other things and is widely unknown to humans.

Ginko follows any leads that could lead him to answers on what the Mushi truly are and why they exist. It's a slow, soft, beautiful, and emotionally compelling anime that tells a story unlike anything seen before.

Knights of Sidonia

Knights of Sidonia, a 2-season series from 2014, is lesser-known anime that definitely deserves more recognition. A boy who lived in seclusion his entire life emerges into a world where the last remains of humanity live on a traveling fleet in space, avoiding a deadly alien threat.

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The animation style is different than most anime, with a more 3D style. The story is unique and keeps audiences engaged and eager to know what happens next. The characters are admirable, and the futuristic world-building is truly enchanting.

Parasyte

This bone-chilling series follows the story of Shinichi Izumi, a high schooler who lives on an alternate version of Earth. This world is infiltrated by parasitic creatures that take over and devour people's brains and bodies.

Shinichi stops a parasite from taking him over completely but trapped it in his arm. He now must understand and work with the parasite to help the rest of humanity against the alien threat. It's creepy, gory, frightening, and absolutely worth the watch.

Tokyo Ghoul

Set in a world where human-like creatures called Ghouls roam undetected in society, this dark thriller features dramatic action scenes, effective character development, and flesh-eating beings out to kill humans.

The protagonist, Ken Kaneki, ends up as a half-ghoul and must use his skills to handle living with both ghouls and fearful humans. It's a classic seinen anime that has received plenty of praise since its release back in 2015.

Yamada's First Time

Not all seinen anime have to be dramatic or gory — sometimes they're super corny and hilarious comedies! That is definitely the case with Yamada's First Time, a comedy anime following Yamada, a high school girl with a personal goal to have her way with 100 different guys before she graduates.

It quickly becomes very apparent that she has no game, no guts, and no ability to actually achieve her goal, as she gets stuck wooing her very first boy. It's hilarious, adorable, and features mature humor that those who have already graduated high school can appreciate.

Lupin III

There is no doubt that this popular seinen series is internationally successful, having so many remakes and sequels under its belt. The action-comedy follows the adventures of Arsène Lupin III, the grandson of the famous Arsène Lupin, the gentleman thief of Maurice Leblanc's novels.

Lupin III is considered the greatest thief in the world, being a pro at stealing valuable items and not getting caught. It's a great series that is still going strong to this day.

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